We use the term pre-rendered when the projected animated digital image has been created prior to projection. This projected image becomes like a projected video with the live performance having to maintain the pre-set pace of the projection.
Originally one advantage of pre-rendered video was that we could create much more realistic scenes including fog, shadows and reflections. However, recent advances in technology, particularly gaming technology, now mean that these effects can be created in real-time, i.e. as the performance unfolds. Another advantage of pre-rende ring is that it is reliable, in fact many performance companies limit themselves to pre-rendered video because of this. However there are many disadvantages.
One disadvantage of pre-rendering is that the elements of the projection cannot be dynamically aligned to physical elements onstage (including performers). Flexibility to adjust dimensions is often crucial if the same show is to be played in different theatres with different dimensions. We call this spatial alignment. Another disadvantage of pre-rendering is that individual elements of the projection cannot be timed to the performance: meaning that performers have to synchronise themselves to the projection. Although with practice this can be achieved, it does limit the spontaneity of the performance. This synchronisation in time we call temporal alignment.
NT_001454 was wholly pre-rendered, while elements of both VRIP and Rivan were pre-rendered. From PreFlux we have used totally real-time digital creation, both for the reasons cited above and also because we have found that this enhances the creative process of devising the performance piece.
stills from NT_001454 projection